Judge keeps hearing closed over media objections

This photo provided by Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows Dylann Roof, Thursday, June 18, 2015. Roof, 21, was arrested Thursday in the slayings of several people Wednesday, including the pastor, at a prayer meeting inside The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A hearing in the federal case of a white man on trial for the fatal shooting of nine black members of a Charleston, South Carolina, church will remain closed.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel on Monday heard objections from attorneys for news media outlets who argued it was in the public’s interest to keep the 11 a.m. hearing open. Gergel said he may release a redacted transcript in the future.

Just as jury selection was supposed to start in Dylann Roof’s trial, Gergel said he had received a request from defense lawyers that demanded his immediate attention. Gergel said the hearing had to do with attorney-client privilege to protect Roof’s rights to a fair and impartial trial.

Government attorneys are also prohibited from the hearing and didn’t object to closing it.

Jury selection is set to resume Wednesday. Roof was present during the brief courtroom activities Monday, clad in a striped jumpsuit and without handcuffs.

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